There’s nothing wrong with a uniform DIY buzz cut. It’s easy to do when you have the most reliable, the sturdiest, and all-around best hair clippers. And, yes, a steady hand helps too. (Having a handheld mirror helps ensure you don’t miss a spot, too.) If done properly, it looks every bit as good as the barber, so long as you aren’t trying to give yourself a fade, and so long as it’s a close-enough crop that you’re tending to on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
After all, that close crop shouldn’t require a $25 visit to the barbershop anyway. One of the joys of wearing your hair so short is the freedom it grants you from having to style or call in a professional. The one thing you do need to call in, however, is a top-notch set of hair clippers. This is something sturdier and more powerful than most beard trimmers and body trimmers, though some devices do double nicely. (If you’re going for a full-head shave, you might even consider an electric shaver.) Below are some of the best hair clippers for men who want to buzz their own dome at home; if that’s you, then look no further than this roster.
Oh, and please mind the beard-to-hair ratio. The easiest way to do that is to grow your beard slightly longer than you’re buzzed-out hair, in order to avoid looking like a tennis ball. (Or shave it entirely.)
The Best Pro-Grade Clipper
While its cord may be cumbersome for a DIY job, this professional-grade clipper is the gold-star standard for barbershops and home cuts alike. With an adjustable blade width from fine to coarse—a big victory for guys with thick hair—this 15-watt, aluminum-shelled clipper is one of the most powerful, durable picks out there.
The Best Budget Clipper
There's a good reason you've seen this clipper everywhere—it's a reliable, classic, and highly affordable model. It might seem like a minor thing, but the color-coding for your preferred length is a major win. Plus: 9 different guards cutting between 1/16" and 1".
The Best Ergo-Friendly Clipper
Mangroomer's 9-guard, palm-held clipper glides beautifully over and around your dome. It ergonomic design makes it easier to tackle the back and sides, too, since you aren't torquing your wrists at odd angles (as you would with most clippers). And, for what it's worth, cutting with this guy is actually lots of fun.
The Best Value Clipper
Philips Norelco has built an all-around powerful and effective clipper, with up to 24 different length settings (1/32" to 7/8"). It packs a 2-hour battery life after a 1-hour charge. Perhaps the coolest part however, is that it uses self-sharpening titanium blades and has a "turbo boost" button to tackle thicker, stronger hair. And when you compare price with capabilities, it's probably the best buy of the batch.
The Most Giftable Clipper
Sure, it's the steepest price of the lot, but Panasonic's hair trimmer is worth the investment—your barber's jaw would drop if you showed up to your next cut with this thing gift wrapped. It's professional grade, after all, and can easily survive any drops or checked-luggage globe trotting. You can achieve dozens of different lengths with the adjustable clipper (0.8-2mm without attachment, and up to 15mm with attachment), and it looks mighty fine in its upright charging stand.
The Best Travel-Friendly Clipper
If you need touch-ups on the go, then be sure to always pack the Peanut in your bag. This little guy is only 4 inches long and weighs just 4 ounces. It also has just 4 heads, between 1/8"-1/2", so while it's not necessarily the best for routine home cuts, it will certainly keep you polished on your travels.
The Best Clipper for DIY Line-Ups
Get Andis' T-blade clipper if your only at-home task is to clean up the perimeter of your cut (between visits to the barber). Or, get it if you want a shape-up clipper in your arsenal. Let a professional handle any fading, but feel free to try your hand at cleaning up your beard, neck, and hairlines with this sturdy detailer.
The Best Hair Clipping Kit
You can't overstate the magic of a vacuum-ized hair clipper. Remington's also comes with 11 different guards for fading and tapering (though those tools are probably best left to the professionals). Its fixed combs cut between 1.5 and 25mm, and it'll run with or without its cord charger. The accoutrement of the kit makes this model stand out, but as a standalone clipper, it competes with the best. Plus, that vacuum head.
Originally Appeared on GQ